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Corvus Consort singers to return to Exeter Cathedral for fundraising concert with ‘multi-cultural songs of peace’

Image ©Izzy Romilly

Corvus Consort, a vocal ensemble comprising some of the UK’s most talented young professional singers, will return to Exeter Cathedral in May for a performance of music by early 20th century Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninov, to raise funds for music at Exeter Cathedral.

The UK-based vocal ensemble will perform Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil at the cathedral to raise funds for the Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation, an independent charity set up to fund Exeter Cathedral’s famous musical tradition over 30 years ago. The trust supports key elements of musical life at the cathedral including choral outreach work, robes and sheet music, maintenance of the cathedral organs, as well as scholarships for choristers, choral scholars, organ scholars and much more.

The concert will be Corvus Consort’s second performance at Exeter Cathedral, following last year’s debut when they performed Bach’s Motets in a two-day mini festival with celebrated baroque violinist, Rachel Podger.

For the ensemble’s Founder and Director, Freddie Crowley, the performance is an opportunity to give something back to the cathedral where he began his musical life as a chorister. Crowley said he was excited to return to his roots for this performance, adding:

“It is always such a special experience for me to come back and perform in Exeter Cathedral, having spent so much musically-formative time here as a chorister. Our performance of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil promises to be a really special occasion, and I’m delighted that the proceeds of the concert will help support the next generation of young singers on their chorister journey.”

Reflecting a piece originally composed during the First World War, Corvus Consort’s performance will acknowledge current conflicts by interspersing the 15 sections of Rachmaninov’s music with songs of peace from across Europe. As Crowley explains:

“At a time when wars are raging in Europe, the Middle East, and around the world, calls for peace are as important as ever. We have taken this opportunity to interpolate multi-cultural songs of peace in amongst the sections of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, in place of the psalms, prayers and readings that would punctuate the Vigil in its liturgical context.

“This also serves to highlight Rachmaninov’s own anti-war sentiment when he composed the Vigil, itself in many ways a response to the shadows of the First World War, and whose premiere performance raised funds for wartime charitable causes.”

Taking place on Friday 10 May, the Corvus Consort’s performance of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil concert begins at 7:30pm at Exeter Cathedral. Adult tickets cost between £15-£25 while under 18s are £10. Tickets can be purchased from Exeter Cathedral’s website.